Prioritization of IoT a conundum for digital manufacturing technologies
The competitive landscape in the manufacturing sector has changed dramatically in 2020. The commercial aerospace and automotive industries, for instance, have struggled with steep demand declines. But some manufacturers such as ventilator and disinfectant manufacturers, have seen business surge.
Against that backdrop is the theme of digital transformation, which has transitioned from eventual necessity to immediate need for many manufacturers. Digital manufacturing technologies, including industrial Internet of Things (IIoT), promise to boost efficiency and agility while protecting workers.
An Increased Digital Focus in Manufacturing
“There’s a push for manufacturers to increase their digital footprint,” said Chander Damodaran, chief architect, digital at the consultancy firm Brillio. Damodaran reported there has been a pronounced shift from manufacturing-related pilot projects to broad-scale IIoT deployments in 2020.
The disruption the manufacturing sector has faced in the wake of the COVID-19 crisis has made “IoT a focal point” for new investments as well as a technological underpinning for new processes and systems, said Somit Kapoor, vice president and global head of Wipro’s Enterprise Operations Transformation unit.
Manufacturers and other organizations have turned to the Internet of Things to monitor “occupancy, building density, indoor air quality,” said Grant Erickson, president of Thread Group and principal software engineer at Google. “Those types of things are actually quickly starting to climb up quite a bit.”
While the manufacturing sector’s embrace of digitization is not new, the COVID-19 crisis has accelerated the trend while highlighting the risks for organizations rooted in older manufacturing paradigms. Globalization and offshore manufacturing, for instance, served as guiding principles for the sector from the 1980s to the early 2000s, when the benefits of global labor arbitrage seemed too great to ignore.
But offshore manufacturing had lost its luster for many manufacturers before COVID-19 arose, leading some companies to reevaluate their production strategy and supply chains over the past decade. A growing number of Western manufacturers have looked to move production out of China, including companies like Apple, Google and Microsoft. While some companies are looking to shift production to other low-cost destinations such as Vietnam and Thailand, others have aimed to return manufacturing to their home country.
To read the complete article, visit IoT World Today.